Salah’s participation in Russia game to be decided on Tuesday morning: Egypt’s coach Cuper

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Jun 2018,
Egypt's Mohamed Salah (Reuters)

Egypt coach Hector Cuper said on Monday that whether Mohamed Salah will participate in the Pharaohs’ vital clash against Russia will be decided on Tuesday morning.

The seven-time African champions will face Russia on Tuesday in a do or die mission, as they are looking to avoid a loss to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Egypt are in third place of their group with zero points, three behind leaders Russia.

''Salah is fit,'' Cuper told a news conference on Monday.

However, Cuper added that "in the previous match against Uruguay, we thought he was fit... we always carry out a last physical test before we [decide] the lineup.''

Salah, who is carrying Egypt’s hopes at the World Cup, missed the 1-0 loss to Uruguay as Cuper preferred to give his ace more time to recover from a shoulder injury suffered during the Champions League final last month.

Earlier on Monday, Russia's coach Stanislav Cherchesovsaid that his team, who are relaxed after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the group opener on Thursday, have a plan to stop Salah if he plays during Tuesday’s clash.

Cuper said that “each coach has his own plans and must prepare their players for their strategies.”

“I want to say that Salah is a very important player, but he is not the whole team. We have many good players capable of making the difference.

Cuper added that “I am happy that the Russian coach is only focusing on Salah.”

When asked about whether he will maintain his cautious strategy against Russia, Cuper said that his side has its own strategy, refusing to reveal his approach for Tuesday’s clash, where Egypt desperately need to score goals.

“We have an identity, a personality, and while it may not please everyone, that is our style,” he said.

“It has worked well for us. Maybe we have been hard-pressed to move forward, but this Egyptian team has done some things very well. Everyone plays to the best of their strengths. Sometimes we just lack that last touch of the ball.”

 (For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports )

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